tv Race Coverage in America CSPAN January 31, 2015 11:00pm-1:11am EST
>> our guest on newsmakers. next, journalists discuss how the media covers race issues in america, including the recent coverage of ferguson and new york city. then, a chance to see president obama and vice president biden take place and in outgoing farewell ceremony for secretary hagel. >> the national press club and the press club hosted a meeting to talk about race relations in america. white house correspondent, at tv ones roland martin, and cnn general assignment reporter at the net coverage included the ferguson protests and the new
york chokehold burtis -- >> good evening and welcome to the press club for a very timely discussion on race coverage in america. how are we doing? how can we do better? this program has been plan to jointly by the national press club and the capital press club. tonight is historic because of how we came together here this evening as partners to discuss the very issue that once divided our two organizations. race. the 107th president of the press club, i want to acknowledge the presence of the 108th president of the is club who took office last week.
thank you for being here. one of the highlights of my year was to be invited to speak in this very room at the 70th anniversary celebratory awards meeting of the cap patel press club -- captial -- capital press club. african american journalists have been members of the national is club since 1950 five, and we're proud that many have been in leadership positions over the years. i also am proud, very proud that's one of our newest members is the president of the cap patel press club. -- capitol press club. thank you for inviting me to
speak, thank you for joining the national press club and above all, thank you for working hard. so hard to ensure the success of this evening's program. as we announced at the 70th anniversary celebration, we were standing right over there, hazel and i thought it was appropriate, sir appropriate and so timely to have what we have described as a cutting-edge forum to discuss media coverage of race in america in the light of recent events from ferguson to staten island. both hazel and i want this to be a best practices look at the journalism that came out of the events in those cities in to identify what was well done and what could be done better. in any other topic that our panelists want to raise during the question in the answer session. everything we say tonight will be said with the hope that journalism can always be
improved. your questions can aim toward that goal and we are very grateful. i will now ask my friend hazel to give her welcome remarks and to introduce our very distinguished panel. let me thank all of you for being here despite the weather into the fear of the weather. we're so grateful. hazel, my friend. >> thank you. let's give him a hand. [applause] it was also an honor for me to join the press club and then to join the national press club in this very important forum this evening. in 1903, wap to blog wrote that the problem in the century -- w.e.b. dubois wrote that the
problem in the country was the color line. here we are, once again continually discussing the color line. with the backdrop of the police killing of michael brown in ferguson, missouri. with the backdrop of the police killing of eric doner in staten island, new york. here we are, as journalists. speaking from the standpoint of the higher ground. our high standards of journalism that we love to talk about and that we really aspire to have a and yet, when it comes to afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, the
question tonight is are we measuring up? the question is, tonight, when it comes to issues of race in america and race coverage in america, how are we doing? and, what can we do better? we have an outstanding panel here tonight. a stellar panel to discuss those issues. i'm going to introduce each one of them into then one at a time in their own way, they are going to speak for five minutes on that question. how are we doing, what we can do better. in their own way. then, we're going to ask questions of them and handed over to you for our town hall meeting. there are two microphones on either side of that room. when that time comes, you will lineup at both of those microphones and prepared to fire away your questions. but first, we have the web
editor of the st. louis american .com and the art director for the st. louis american newspaper. she was the st. louis american's most active reporter in ferguson during the crisis following the police killing of michael brown, junior. her coverage of the protests that followed has been republished nationwide by ebony magazine and black newspapers around the country. let's welcome her. [applause] then we have the media coverage reporter for the washington post. paul's articles cover issues from everything from speak -- free speech to abusive into racist comments and hate speech.
his beta also expands into media conflicts of interest, medical oversight of journalists and even the hiring practices of media agencies. let's give paul a hand. [applause] next to paul we have april ryan. april's white house correspondent for the american urban network that is 475-affiliated radio stations. april has covered and conducted exclusive interviews with three presidents. resident barack obama, george w. bush, and bill clinton. following this form, april will sign her new book, "the presidency in black and white: my up close view of three presidents and race in america." mr. jeff johnson has e-mailed,
we hope he is on his way. he is trying to catch a flight so he will mud get caught up in the monster storm. pardon? it's 10 minutes out. he is on his way. we will introduce him when he arrives. they can, roland. athena jones is a general assignment reporter for cnn. she works out of cnn's washington bureau. previously, she was a white house reporter on air for msnbc and nbc news. athena covered the protest -- the presidential campaign of hillary clinton and barack obama during the 2008 presidential cycle. remember that? let's give us the night a hand. [applause] -- athena a hand.
sitting next to athena is gilbert. last month it was announced that gilbert would be receiving the prestigious national press foundation benjamin c bradley award as editor of the year. [applause] for guiding his news organization through the police shooting of michael brown in ferguson, missouri and the tumultuous aftermath he will receive that award on february 18 right here in washington d.c. next to gilbert is mr. roland martin. he is an author, a columnist and host of tv one's news now with roland martin. he is a nationally syndicated columnist and a former cnn
contributor and author of "speak brother: a black man's view of america." let's give him a hand. let's give the entire panel a hand as we anticipate the powerful conversation this evening. >> hi everybody. i am kenya von. i am going to start with one of the reasons i am here, and that is ferguson. i remember august 9 like it was 10 seconds ago. i was going about my everyday business of social media watching, just looking on sites. i saw a man hold a sign on instagram and he said, the ferguson police department just murdered my unarmed son.
and i was like ferguson ferguson? down the street ferguson? is this real? i wanted to get down there at that moment because people are gathering, but because i am an entertainment reporter i had to cover a bill cosby concert. i could not remember, i could not remember all of the pre-events that kicked off ferguson. i cannot believe -- i cannot remember one joke that he told. that is nothing negative about mr. cosby, but it was going on in my head, what is going on down there? what is happening? i got home and i remember thinking, oh my gosh, which is his main? i felt something different about this. so ultimately, ferguson became my paint the became a all of our plates. when talked about it, the protests. the people came from the -- what
people would assume was the lowest common denominator of the ferguson community to raise their voices to all of these different issues. what happened is, in the wake of the killing of michael brown into the protests, there were all of these thrilling sidebar conversations about disparity racial profiling, disparities as it relates to african-americans, and it was so wonderful to see but it was also things that would have been telling for generations in the african-american news and the things that finally they have come to the forefront. it was like a wake-up call because we saw that the post-racial society that we all assumed we lived in, most of our general population, that it did not exist. with michael brown, with the air a could garner, there are new conversations. it was uncomfortable. there is tension. what i'm hoping that the
internal optimist, that healing comes out of these tragedies. >> thank you for inviting me here. i am interested in what everybody on the panel has to say. i will give you my thoughts. i was not in ferguson. i did not cover it directly. i experienced it the way most people in this room probably did. through the media. i saw it, i think, three things about that episode. two of which are small, and one of which i think is large. first of all i watched a lot of the television coverage. cnn, fox, msnbc. i will exempt my friends on the panel who are on print and radio, but television did not tell us something very important
about what was going on in ferguson i think. that was how many people were truly involved in this and over how large a community was involved. i'm sure the geography was obvious to your readers, but it was not obvious to people like me watching on television. i cannot tell whether the entire northern part of st. louis was on fire or if it was a couple blocks. i think that was a basic failure of what was going on in terms of the coverage. the next step also got me. which was, why was ferguson different then the protest that evil to in new york in new york into oakland and los angeles and chicago? ferguson did turn violent. it was no an analysis of the media as to why ferguson ended up the way it did and the other
cities where there was an able amount of grievance, although not necessarily a triggering event like the death of michael brown, why there was not the same kind of reaction. new york was very peaceful. los angeles was peaceful. chicago, etc.. i wish the media could have analyzed that aspect. is that the police response? was it the police nonresponse? was it something the political structure that those cities did? could the media have shown this in a more responsible way? i would like to see follow-up on that. the other part of this is something that came home to me when i saw the movie "soma" a few days ago. -- "selma" a few days ago.
there was something about the optics. in martin luther king's case, he advocated nonviolent protest. he understood that to get the media involved, to galvanize the media attention there had to be action. there had to be drama. and, that was why soma itself was selected. because martin luther king and his advisers knew that the sheriff in selma was going to overreact and beat those protesters and it would shock the nation. the reason that shocked the nation's because media came running into media portrayed it to people who were sympathetic to those protesters who were protesting nonviolently and they saw that it was not fair. so, in that sense, we have not
-- we know one thing about ferguson, that violence did get the media's attention and we will remember ferguson for that to more so the end we will remember any of the other protests. >> it is an honor to be here this evening and midst this wonderful crowd particularly in the midst of the storm. it lets you know how much race is an issue in this country that you came out to hear about it. i have covered race in the white house for the last 18 years. and i have found that in the white house, everything comes to the white house from war to peace and in between. there are matters of race as well. sometimes covering the white house with three presidents and researching for the books that i have, "the presidency in black and white," it is interesting
how sometimes people think race is not always at the forefront in the white house. that is not true. it does not always make it to the front page. it may go in the b section comment made on the c-section, but waste as matter into does play a part. it is interesting that the -- one of the first writings of a black person in the white house was by paul jennings. he wrote a slave in the white house, he was a slave for president madison into dolley madison. you do not hear about that, do you? race played a part way back. it was before kennedy, lbj frederick douglass met with presidents. he met with abraham lincoln. we did not hear about that kind of thing. the sad part of that is i am an american woman who focuses on minority and urban issues in the
white house. i am the only reporter in the white house that focuses on that daily. to my colleagues credit, when something comes to a crescendo moment they talk about it. in my book, president bill clinton talks about it. race does matter. these presidents factored in all the time. but where do you hear about it? it has to be a watershed moment. it has to be a selma. it has to be a bloody incident. we cover these things daily. it is sad when it is prevalent in almost every sector, from education to housing to catching a cab in new york. it is prevalent. in crime. it is prevalent in drug sentencing. it is prevalent everywhere. you hear about it when there is
a crescendo moment. he sad part is this is on the president's table. we have melody campbell hear from the black woman's roundtable. she meets with the president quite a bit about race. we don't hear about it. melody, stand up. [applause] we have people like that who come to the white house on a constant basis and we do not hear about. it is not just a black issue, it would -- and asian issue a race issue. it is an everybody issue. [applause] >> i am excited to see what people on the panel have to say. it is not just about how we're doing but what we can do better. one of the messick exciting things i've heard is what can you mentioned, the thrilling
sidebar conversations that came about when we started covering ferguson and later the garner case. i was not in ferguson but i did cover the street protests here after the decision not to indict the police officer in the air could garner case. i want to speak specifically -- generally and then specifically. i asked a couple friends how they thought we were doing and they kind of laughed and said, you are covering it at least. that is a start. i think it goes beyond that. in these cases, we did get beyond the headlines. in television, where it can be harder to delve deeper, on television a lot of stations manages to do that. my station did a good job in many cases to look at the cases behind the headlines. the hind the marches and the
protest and the violence. there are many ways we can do better. what all of us would agree with that is that as journalists our mission has to be more than providing a megaphone to the people on either side of the issues. we also have to bring some light so it is not just tete-a-tete. i think we have a ways to go on that, but i saw some of that in the coverage like these thrilling sidebar conversations that can you mentioned. people in print and radio have different challenges than people in television. in print we saw great coverage of issues behind the problems in ferguson. like all of the good reporting we saw on the municipal fines in traffic tickets and the way that towns like ferguson were interacting with the poor residents in the black community.
that is something you can do more easily in print. television and something more about pictures. compelling pictures. there is a focus on the big crowds, there's a focus on the loudest voices often. there can be a focus on violence. this is why context matters. i think that we have had a good start trying to add that context and i think we have to continue to do so. in to do so with a wide range of voices. specifically, the reason this is so important is because somebody else mention on the panel there are so many people who really do not think about race on a daily basis because they do not have to. they do not get the struggles that people who are minorities are dealing with. that became cleared to me many times, but certainly during the coverage of the garner protests here. the reaction that i got was
quite remarkable on twitter, for instance. a lot of people who were not minorities just did not get it. i will give you a couple examples. one night i took a picture of a young black male, 12, 13, 14 who was walking with his family. a couple younger siblings and his mother. he was holding a sign that said i could be next. i took a picture, i tweeted it out. a bunch of people thought it was compelling. they thought it was moving. they repeated that and thought it really had a home for them. a lot of other people on twitter, for instance, said look , as long as he behaves himself he will be fine. to me that shows that they do not get the issue at hand. that is why it is important for us in our role as journalists to add that context. that is the main example i wanted to give. it is very important for us to be there to cover. when television may be criticize
a lot for focusing on the pictures and focusing on a mesh amount of pictures, but it is our role to tell that story. we'll just have to make sure will bet that up with the proper context, panel conversations far away from the center of the action. i think to some extent we managed to do that. >> thank you, athena. we are going to bring up our seventh panelist, mr. jeff johnson. jeff is an award-winning journalist a thought leader. he conducted an exclusive interview with president barack obama on the recent release shooting of unarmed black men and other race issues in america. in the early days, jeff also served as the national director for the youth and college division of the naacp. let's move onto gilbert and then we will come back to jeff after
roland. >> i have some prepared remarks. i will go through them quickly. what happened was in our hometown. it is different when you consider it is in your backyard. two people here from st. louis and snow in st. louis. it is a little difference in how you see it and how it is happening today. there are protests at the county courthouse. protests have come and gone for some of the country, but it is still happening in st. louis. the police involved fatalities [indiscernible] concentrated poverty, political disenfranchisement equitable -- all of that arose with ferguson. but ferguson, an older suburb
that became the majority african american over the last few decades, is not the same as the country. many in st. louis probably thought such an event would happen elsewhere where crime and poverty is worse, but not in ferguson. ferguson has demonstrated have different races and backgrounds can live in proximity, yet live very far apart. these are complex issues that this panel will explore. i want to talk about the tone of the public discourse in the issue of demographics. with the discourse the political polarization has given voice to harsh and mean-spirited conversations. constructive facts-based conversations are hard to conduct across class, race, and geography. this makes well-meaning news coverage subject to intense scrutiny. the says been true with ferguson
coverage. too many in the public take an us versus them position, in which opinions and sides are predetermined. from various quarters, [indiscernible] people of different backgrounds are talking past each other in distinct bubbles. an individual is never part of the problem. it is those people making problems and they must change. solutions are too simplistic. political extremism has made popular these shrill, vilifying common major conversations that undermine solid news reporting. some politics and public discourse divide by fear with the changing complexion of america. social media is embedded in our culture and has become a vehicle for hate, intolerance, and
hoaxes and misinformation. we saw this in ferguson. social media is part of the american fabric. their presence to a certain -- journalists are squeezed by biased information which some people cling to preconceived notions. these factors have further impair an understanding and constructive conversation let me speak to demographics quickly. the change in america are undeniable. this creates fear in people who see a threat to their way of life. the change of demographics is inexorable and so is the backlash. the hispanic population is 54 million right now, the largest minority group in the country.
it will double by 2050. the largest number of the undocumented immigrants are hispanics, yet the growth in hispanics will result from births, not immigration. some feel under siege and unable to understand the legality of immigrants or other minorities who retain their ancestral language while they fully embrace american culture. to some, culture is a zero sum game. so it rings hollow to them. that includes many elected officials. it may be present but it may not be recognized. nativism is common to america. now it's some people from latin america who are being targeted.
harsh rhetoric harbors ignorance and stereotypes. for some americans spanish language or bilingual news coverage occurs in a vacuum apart from them. they're not hearing it, but i do not underestimate the role of ethnic media in this country. mainstream media is to -- what we need are more voices and more viewpoints across the spectrum and that's the role the mainstream media must play. thank you. >>all right. certainly glad to be here with you as well as the panel.
let me be as clear and concise as i can be. and that is media's coverage of race in america is shameful, deplorable, abominable and hypocritical. media cannot cover race when it's unwilling to look at its own shop. how can media do stories on the lack of diversity in the academy when it comes to whether or not "selma" should have been nominated for best director or best actor while deciding what goes in the next news cast? how can media talk about how it needs to broaden its tent when the same media outlets have virtually no minorities in executive positions? how can media talk about income and equality in this country and talk about job disparity when you look at the folks who are in news rooms, those who are making
those making six and seven-figure salaries and who are making five-figure salaries? i dealt with it for six years on cnn, the austin american-statesman, i challenged my boss to say how can we talk about race in america when we are unwilling to face it in ourselves? you have virtually all white men deciding what's going to be the story of the day. you can't talk about race in america if a black woman comes up missing. a white blue eyed woman comes up missing, it's wall-to-wall coverage. why that is the case? when a white woman comes up missing in america, they see their mother, their daughter their niece. but when a black woman comes up missing, that's not what they see. whether a woman comes up missing, you cover one, how do
you explain how you don't cover the other? it shouldn't have to be community protests for networks or newspapers to cover those stories. when you come up missing, the first 72 hours are most critical. but it's six weeks later when we start doing the protests when someone says let's do a story. the one problem we have is nobody reports on us. media relies on media blogs and media blogs -- and also -- or media websites, but the question is who challenges us? who calls us into question? and so when we're talking about who leads that conversation, it really has to be a question of who is deciding what goes on in the newscast, what's going to be the lead story, what is going to be on that particular front page and who is informing those decisions and their particular
backgrounds? i used to sit there and go -- i would listen to some of these conversations and literally look at folks and go, are you serious? you actually asked that question? or that's a particular angle that you decided to take? give you an example. to understand how you you have to broaden and link things and if you are not a person of color where you actually -- you actually have lived this, you don't understand it. so when all the stories are being reported about the sony e-mails being hacked and a sony executive calling kevin hart a whore for wanting to get paid more money, the position was he was getting paid $3 million. to understand how folks see that, folks say he's getting $3 million. that's more than enough. but the reality is this. kevin hart gave a band $50,000. when he's able to make four, five, $6 million he has the
capacity to give more to support more. when you suppress his income you limit his ability to give. you limit his built to create wealth to pass down to the next generation so his kids when they turn of age they're now able to walk into a situation where they might have 10, $20 million because daddy made that over his career. you're limiting the capacity for his children and his children's children to do with that wealth what whites have done in america for years. if you don't have that context, all you simply see is he wanted more money for social media tweets. and that's one of the fundamental flaws that we have is that you do not have divers executive leadership and if we want to cut right to the chase and be honest and show the picture. i remember being on cnn talking
about rap music. they kept showing roughly simmons and i said stop show me the c.e.o. of the record labels. i said show me the executives of the record labels. i guarantee you they don't look like the rappers. the executive committee is the one that says no we're not going to release that song with the n-word, we're not going to release that particular song where women are being accused but we chose to show the faces of the rappers, but not those in charge. that's the flaw of media because we are unable to look at ourselves in the mirror and we want to question the rest of america. [applause] >> i won't attempt to be as passionate as roland. i don't know if it's possible.
i'm appreciate active of the invitation and appreciate to be here. apologize for being late. driving from baltimore was more than a notion. i to be brief and not redundant, what i thought about more than anything else is really what is the responsibility of those of us that want to consume cent and as i've looked -- content and as i've looked at media and played roles in varying outlets, i realize that most folks that i see these days don't really want to do news, anyway. they want to do entertainment that's dressed as news. and there are a lot of people that are looking to those folks that are dressed as news to provide news when executives have no interest in providing news. they want to provide entertainment.
they are less interested in providing any kind of critical analysis as much as they are who are people who can shout at each other, proclaiming to be representatives of one side or another so that we will tweet about one of those two sides reverberate the conversation that in many cases is incredibly unsophisticated and dried sales for the advertisers that are ensuring that those networks, in many cases, continue to put content on air. but at some point, when are we responsible for helping to promote the kind of content that we that we claim isn't there. when i think about african-americans, people of color, those concerned about race being discussed, there are two things i'm concerned with. one is that we don't often support the outlets that traditionally ensure that race coverage has a level of integrity. so whether that's the black press, whether those are black
websites, whether those are black news agencies -- i'm not saying any black news agency. i'm saying there are those who have a level of integrity to sure that the race conversations take place without it being race baiting. the second thing, not to belabor the point, is that i am frustrated with our inability to create infrastructure that provides voices to be comfortable with the same old stuff. every time it's some black stuff, the same five people are the -- are the gods and goddesses of black tough. and i don't see new voices. i don't see younger voices. i don't see fringe voice. i don't see voices that aren't a part of old school institutional infrastructure, and oftentimes those voices use relationships that they have within these outlets to block younger voices
or fringe voice from the african-american community. so you have -- until people really started raising hell in ferguson, you didn't hear real voicings from ferguson, and it wasn't until the protests popped off as a result of talking to young people on the street, you began to be like, wait a minute, this isn't a leaderless some movement, they may not be a part of the urban league or a member of the church, but they are leading on the ground. i think until we as a community begin to challenge this notion that everybody that has been a leader is not the leader, that everybody has been the voice are not all the voices, and we do two things. because i would love to see the organizations that are providing, that are looking for talents, that are looking at folks at universities around the country, that are looking at local leadership that have datas bases of voices that can be on
air and the moment that -- if we're going to be honest, it's not just black folks. you got the token white dude that is the dude to talk every time there is something surrounding black people. they call michael skonik because he works for russell simons and he's got to know about black people. hello? and i have nothing against mike. i like mike. but at some point we got to get out of this tokenism on both sides when it comes to conversations about race. we've got to push to see that there are more legitimate, sophisticated conversations that aren't just the same old back-and-forth talking points, challenge institutions that actually position themselves as the authorities on black thought when in many cases, the divertity of black thought latino thought, asian thought, is more than we give credit for
and whether they support blogs whether they are papers, networks, whether they are individuals that are pushing to have these conversations supporting them so that we can begin to see the kind of conversation i don't think we often have at some of the major outlets. >> thank you. yes. >> interesting when jetch brought up that point. i remember when i was filling in for carve belling brown at cnn. and the supreme court made a decision in a louisville -- in a kentucky desegregation -- busing desegregation case. they automatically said he booked a conservative who likes the decision. and i went, you do know there could be some liberals who like it, too. then i said, well, why don't we call jonathan kozul to -- i said, because -- so they called him. i said who is that? i said, trust me, call him. he was just -- he was -- they
said we want to find somebody black. i said i know it's a bugs decision but he's a perfect voice because he hates the decision. i said, did you also look at who filed the lawsuit? that was a black parent who was a part of the lawsuit because she didn't want her kid going all the way across town. so the boxes that we chose, find a black person who hates the supreme court decision, find me a white male conservative who likes the supreme court decision and then we'll have a conversation. as opposed to saying, no, no why don't i find two of the most passionate voices who disagree on this. forget the labels and the ideology and say this is where they stand. we literally fall into those boxes and that's what drives the race conversation and that's what ends up being a talking point deal as opposed to a real substantive dialogue on the issue of race in america.
>> let's get further into that dialogue. i see a sign in the audience right there on the front row. it says black lives matter. very plain and very simple. that has been the clarion call of all of the marchings and rallies, the protests that have taken place ever since michael brown was killed this summer. and yet just this morning i watched a major network interview a police chief and he kept saying, see, black people don't -- they keep calling us, they want us there. t hey don't seem to get the point that it's not that they don't -- black people don't want them there. it's just that they don't want them shooting unarmed black men. question: what can the media do to finally get that and reports that?
anybody. >> let me say this. that's something that the white house has had to deal with because here you have a black president who has taken the forefront in talking about, i can't believe, wearing a t-shirt and talking about travon and then when the situations have happened with ferguson, with new york, and with cleveland there's a fine line about how do you support the police officers who are the ones who are in the community trying to help and then also calling out the ones who are abusing authority? there's got to be some confined of way that as reporters and as someone from the community and as the white house and the attorney general can report -- and we report on the fact that there is support for law enforcement. we need law enforcement. but at the same time you need to root out the evil that is in the department that's been going on for decades. people have to understand, and particularly law enforcement, we will support you, but it's a
mutual situation. it's a cyclical issue. but you have at the same time to support the community. we have to start taking more about community policing. because many of these neighborhoods didn't have it. i mean, i watched when that poor child was laying in the street i saw how the police were on one side -- sometimes you take your reporter hat off and you think as a person. and i said, wait a minute. i'm from baltimore where they have community policing, strong community policing town. i saw that crime line and i saw the black people on one side and the police officers on the other. it was no communication. it was us versus them. and anytime you have that kind of situation in a community, it's going to powder keg and it did. and it's got to be a situation where there are reports on this from the community, because we have experienced and also from mainstream america. it has to come out beyond the
faurnings it has to come out beyond new york. it has to be made a priority issue for this country. >> go ahead. >> so i think it's interesting what april just said. you can both support law enforcement and also support the idea that law enforcement should not be shooting unarmed black men. i think that often, our role and our duty is to make sure that the context is always a part of any conversation under a made me think of the situation between de blasio, mayor de blasio and the nypd, the conflict, and a lot of that -- had to do a lot of things, but one of the things that was brought up by the police side of the complicate was that mayor de blasio shared the fact that he had a conversation with his son that many people all across the country can relate to, which is telling his black son to be careful, to act a certain way, act respectfully, don't talk back to the police and that --
there's not enough context in the reporting of that situation. there's not enough people saying, wait a second, this is not just a de blasio conversation, this is a conversation that the president would have with his son if he had a son. and his daughters. it's a conversation that any black -- any parent of a black child -- let's put it that way -- should be having and is having, and i think that that part of that conversation, what didn't appear enough when you saw the reporting about the conflict between mayor de blasio and the police department, and i think that's when we fall down, we, broadly speaking, in the media, if we don't bring up both sides of this. let's talk about why each side is saying what they said. >> i have a couple of very quick examples. just this week we did a story on -- in the city of st. louis, which is probably 10 miles from ferguson.
where there's a middle class african-american neighborhood dealing with a violent crime problem where they're trying to take back their neighborhood. they aren't anti-police. they're anti-crime. we did it through their lens of -- a lot of them were elderly or raised families and to changed around them. we were able to see this is what is going on in our city. these weren't protesters. this was people trying to take back their neighborhood. a couple of months ago, a ferguson cop, i think three african-american cops in ferguson, from his viewpoint what it was like amid the protests, amid all the tension to be african-american, the names he was called and why he was doing and how he saw are did protesters were upset. you have to get different voices, you have to get it from a different angle. some of the local coverage that we've done has done this but
it's not always seen on a national scale, so people don't see this as it is and it's really close to home. >> we have to stop this notion of you're racist, you're not racist. if you look at every debate and something happens. and the person goes, oh, no, no, i've known them for so long, they're not racists. but there's a whole lot between racists and not racists. there are perceptions and things you thought growing up different views in your background. because we never want to deal that because that forms who we are. and but then you say, oh, no racists, we're conservative. i can tell you right now, i've had to deal with a whole lot of racism from some white liberals. got real quiet. i understand. and so you're dealing with them.
i literally had -- we did a show on tv 1 where i had black gay people on the show talking about racism in the lgbt community jose antonio vargas gave a speech on that. saying how can there be any quality movement when there's inquality. so there's this fear of really dealing with that. so we sit here and play games and they go, you know so and so, he's not racist. as opposed to what exactly drives that. when you see us talking about affirmative action or hiring here's a very small thing that happened that people ignore. we allow the conversation to go forth by saying, yes, we're always looking for qualified minorities. well, why are you using the qualifier "qualified"? you never hear anybody saying i'm looking for some qualified white folks.
that is assumed. dr. king rarely talked about equality. he talked about freedom, inalienable rights. what he was saying is i want the same thing that somebody white in america has. the moment they're born they have all their rights as a citizen. that's a different conversation. coming off his birthday, we have this limited view. we talk about the "i have a dream "speeches and look at part of it. when we talked about his "mountaintop" speech but he talks about other things. we have this nice cartoon character we have as opposed to the radical person that he was. if we want to have honest conversations, go there, but we really don't so we have these really surface-level fake, nice,
cute discussions and we always go back to watching our favorite television show. >> thank you, roland. we planned this so that we would have a half-hour of what hazel rightly called a town hall atmosphere. i can't say enough on behalf of hazel how grateful we are for a very large turnout despite the warnings of a cataclysmic storm. i'm so grateful that we had 100% turnout of our panel. i have my students, after 40 years as a practitioner, and my mantra is objectivity, objectivity. they walk in and they see the initials r.a.f., responsibility, accuracy, fairness. that's what i teach. i maybe am naive, i realize that what many newspapers and columnists and others are practicing does not fit into those guidelines.
and we just have to keep trying and trying. i devote the rest of my life as a teacher to doing that. one of the columnists that i ask my students to read is the works of paul fari. i know he's white and i'm white, but please don't look at us in that way. look at us as really trying to be objective. paul, you've listened for an hour. could you give us a summing up from your perspective, as the washington post, not the formal title of media critic, but that is what you're associated with. what is your reaction of what you're hearing tonight, any comments? >> here's the comment i would make. in the day-to-day of doing what
we do, there is not the same level of heat and passion that you're getting up here. and that's very, very important because when people like say roland or jeff come to us and say, look, you are not doing this or you have done us wrong it does get our attention and in the day-to-day you go through and you work on automatic pilot to a certain extent. you work on what you have done before and you are not getting in many ways the sense of what's bubbling out there. as i was listening to roland i was thinking to myself when it be nice if we in the media could be ahead of these things that we could anticipate these things not react and not go when a trayvon happens and when a michael brown brown brown happens or an air garner. could we have covered police shootings before then? yes of course we could and i will say this plug for my newspaper. 1998 we covered very extensively
the issue of police shootings in prince george's county. they had a series of problems that never exploded in the headlines like michael brown. never exploded into the headlines like eric garner were trayvon martin. and we did a tremendous series of stories about police shootings. it brought about reform in prince george county police force and the story when the pulitzer prize that year. so we can only have this passion and bring it in every single day and be ahead of the next wave i think we could do a lot of social good as well as a lot of good journalism. >> thank you paul. hazel go ahead and before we get to the audience but please go ahead.
there was no national media around the people that got shot at 135 times by the police. unsuited believes, -- and so we've always come up -- and so the police the mayor of , cleveland did an administrative review of a chase that involved nearly 60 cars than 100 officers from cleveland into east cleveland. administrative review by the mayor and the city was done even as citizens were saying fire the white police chief but the mayor
said no did a review on unemotionally -- unemotionally. suspended supervisors that didn't call police officers off the chase suspended officers that contained on the chase even after they were called off to which an arbitrator came in later and even after police officers have been fired and demoted and police officers had lost pay a reduction in pay the arbitrator came back reinstated officers to the place they were and made the city pay back dollars, backpay and then they judge about two weeks ago validated the arbitrator. nobody said anything. no marches, no protests, no mobilization but that same city my hometown, wants to be up in arms about tamir rice so one of the challenges with media is that often we don't have consistent leadership in
communities. and when you have consistent leadership in communities in that same city the same week that tamir rice was killed, the same week there was a shooting where a man rose up to a house brickstone the door, that breaks down the door, goes inside shoots two adult people shoot 79-year-old little girl comes out of the house shoots a 41-year-old pregnant when a car who was waiting outside. the parent of the 9-year-old runs out to try to save her two-year-old little brother who's hiding in the backseat of this car. this guy goes off runs off, five people dead no marches, no protests, no tweets. and so my concern about this whole notion of the media's responsibility i think we do have a lot of responsibility in how we talk about race is clear. but similar to how we look at even the president of the united states there are times when leadership and citizens have to
push infrastructure to do things the right way. and when you lack leadership or when a community is schizophrenic about what they want to be in arms about it insurers there is schizophrenic -- insurers there is -- ensures there is schizophrenic media. they are not there oftentimes to cover shooting. they are there to cover the response of the shooting. but therein lies one of the issues we deal with as we talk about race because until we get mad about something the media doesn't often show up. if we don't ensure their sophistication around the conversation that very seldom does the media reported statistic conversation. >> thank you. i think we have gone a little over an hour and hazel and i just conferred. let's go to the q&a. we will do it in our traditional way. line up behind a microphone either on that side or that site and we will call on each one as
we always do at our news conferences and luncheons. we always tell people and as i teach my students ask a good question but without a speech. so bob you get the opportunity to ask the first concise good question. overview, bob. -- over to you, bob. >> and myron and hazel thanks so much for this spectacular forum. what do you do when the call for objectivity the facts don't take you to objectivity? and in this case i want to bring it right to ferguson and statin island. in ferguson the prosecutor gave the jury the wrong information , inaccurately telling them that the law says the police can shoot a fleeing subject even though that law was overturned 35 years earlier by the supreme court. the prosecutor in statin island
bet is doing called "his bet." what you all are doing is the content they are looking for. there are a ton of outlets out there looking for that kind of content. when you were looking at some of the mainstream media outlets oftentimes they are not getting as many viewers as some of the digital outlets are getting. what we used to look at cnn. but the number of people is an insane number of people watching world star hip up. so utilizing some of the outlets that are out there and creating partnership is a real way to get yourself and your story in front of people that are not going to see it at all of their watching television.
they're not showing pictures of you in the 1st place. so it's not looking to them to validate you. >> but but i have to ask you your outreach, have you been in terms of reaching out. have you been reaching out to those other people? specifically start with black media. black media? >> yes. >> >> wh qt,, a few weeks ago. >> ok. the morning show. yolanda adams. west park, dubbed park, dubbed banks. seven naturally syndicated shows. the only black money knew show. you you have black newspapers, black magazines. literally a major infrastructure. part part of the deal is not do a story on us but making us aware of exactly who you are as well.
when you bring that to the table, then that sort of helps the story out. the onus is not always on us covering it but reaching out to nontraditional outlets to get your story told as well. >> i think they need a publicist that can put it out there. >> i got my own show. all you all you have to do is give them your e-mail. just saying. and i will we will have to ask anybody because it's my dance show. [laughter] >> i just wanted to piggyback and concur. a lot of the time, i mean, you go and look at the media. we want to create that counter narrative. in our business business section this past week we showed a woman who got recently passed the national bar association. she didn't -- you know, she was not america's next top model she wasn't the next olympic athlete, but a lot of the time because of we are overwhelmed as
media outlets ourselves, the best thing you can do is put your information out there because chances are if we have a story about young black entrepreneurs we are going to do , something with the. there is more to being a young black successful man that having a ball or microphone. courts i cannot speak for "the washington post," but i think they would as well. next question. i'm sorry. thank you. go you. go ahead. our -- are we ready for the next question? >> good evening. >> identify yourself, and yourself, and a nice, succinct question. >> doctoral candidate, howard university. why is it that mainstream media is letting police chiefs around the country off the hook? i am appalled that they take the high road, the thought that there could be racist police
officers or there could be a bias. they need a history lesson. do we need them all to sit in and watch "selma?" the entire backdrop of racism and injustice in america is local law enforcement and the black community. all the sudden moment bring that up there like, how could you dare think such a thing that my officers would treat a a black person differently. that has been our history for a hundred years, not politicians but local law enforcement. why is it that when you do interviews on national duty, nobody says, wait a minute remember the dogs. we let them get a platform. to say that my guys will take the high road because we care about the community. we don't remind them of history. >> paul has volunteered. >> thank you. i don't want to defend police chiefs but i do want to prevent
stereotyping of every single police chief. there are thousands of them. they are not all racists and they are not all killers. we have to figure out which ones are which. gretzky went to the source of where we're coming from. -- >> you have to figure out the source of where we are coming from. >> how about this, the fact that i don't here a lot of people who aren't in the media -- and not -- connecting the current protest to the election of 35 mirrors in 11 months -- meteors in 11 months -- mayors in 11 months and it will select police chiefs. making the protests real, it is not about a gangster reporter pointing fingers at a police chief and saying, don't you believe in racism? it is about how do we ensure that the people elected or held
accountable to choosing the kind of police chiefs that are about community policing, that moving the direction of shifting some of the dna of certain departments from control to service. because a lot of the conversations are about the end methodology -- antiquated methodology in the united states. we shifted through holding accountable officials that will choose police chiefs and one of the community saying they want the police chief to look like when they make that a primary factor or in who they elect. your cities like chicago and indianapolis and jacksonville and columbus, ohio and other cities that will be electing mayors. that is not to say we should not be accountable to asking hard questions, it is to save the ships will not be from asking
police chief a question about racism, it will be about selecting police chiefs and safety directors who understand what 21st century policing needs to look like. >> reported of the journal -- the point about how journalists are immediately conversation, sometimes there is a panel were you have to let them differing and disagreeing voices on the spot a lot of times you will have somebody during the interview keen on: somebody are racist because that ends the conversation. once you start throwing around accusations people shutdown. part of our role besides mediating and adding contactsext is also to ask these questions about what is next. it goes beyond that interview with that police chief or panel. it's all about what you want to do next, what would you do about the law, about the how the grand
jury's function the next step , besides the protest and besides the marches and the sort of headline grabbing moment. i think that's where sometimes media falls down, not down, not asking that question enough and not following up enough because we moved onto the next thing. >> on 60 minutes last night, the tamir rice case, the police chief of cleveland, i recommend it highly. >> over to the side now. >> hello. i would like to ask the panelists to comment on the fact that was the -- with the case in new york where the two cops were shot, you had representatives of the police union police department trying to make the association of one man's actions, the man who killed the two cops when the entire issue was about and cops that have -- bad cops that have done the
things that we know, the case in new york in the case in ferguson's. the coverage i have seen essentially silenced the debate and shifted it to something else. i was wondering if they could comment on that. >> book, -- look, hi\s job is to defend his officers at all costs. police union leaders, even when they know it was absolutely heinous and iran, they are going -- heinous and wrong they are , going to defend. that is what he is paid to do. he is not paid to offer an objective viewpoint's. the problem the problem is when those of us in media are unwilling to challenge him when he comes on air with his comments or unwilling to say wait a minute, and this particular case, you notice he has not said much about this cops who shot the dude in that dark hallway. and the gun discharge.
it's a little hard to defend that one, but he might try. and so that is what you have here. it is understanding. we also have a job as well. it's our responsibility to also be aware of the various issues. to know what questions to ask. i am going to tell you right now, that's part of the problem, especially when you're watching lots of television shows, it ain't like you get the most well read folks asking questions. you're sitting at home going as this. -- ask this. trust me, nobody's hand them a blue card with that question on. and there is an unwillingness to challenge folks. because you understand what the game is, especially within television going back to well, i want to press them too hard. if i come across as too hard someone else may not want to come on the show because i really press too hard.
and so then they hold back and then they pull there punches. you get these fake conversations and you're sitting there at home mad because it's not a real interview. that that is a fundamental problem that we have in media's and also why you need other voices that are willing to challenge. and i will tell you, when i was doing the morning show, they were guests who would say, i'll come on and take questions, but not from the panel. now, she will kick your behind anyway but they would say no, i don't want to do the panel. up take your questions because they did not want somebody coming out of the box was not worried about whether or not i get other interviews. all those things happen. behind the behind the scenes you don't even realize it's what's happening because what the media doesn't want to tell you is most folks in media absolutely crave and desire continued access. and we are unwilling to challenge power because of my -- it might cut off our access
and we crave the access'. >> thank you. angela and i made a command decision. it we were going to go until 8:00 and we are going to go until 8:15 because the questions are so good and the answers complement for their responses. are we agreed? >> agreed. >> please keep the questions as brief as possible. make them hard. make them brief. >> hello, everyone. i am a producer at the department of defense. supporting video operations. my 1st question is about newsroom diversity. first i want to say thank you for asking president obama at his last press conference, the state of black america. what he felt that was because if it was not for you, no one would have asked that in the room. previously when i worked in news i was one of the only blacks in the newsroom, and we were the only people asking to report on the stories. what do you feel is the most pressing barrier to diversity in the newsroom, and how can it be
overcome? my 2nd quick question is about race coverage in national security. recently people noted the lack of coverage of google from in nigeria -- boko haram rom in nigeria in america in comparison to the pair's pairs magazine. -- paris magazine attack. do you feel that that criticism is valid, and what are your thoughts? >> i want to speak to the issue of diversity when it comes to newsrooms. particularly at the white house. and thank you for that complement. athena comes to the white house. i love to see people of color there. unfortunately that is run that has historically been a white, male-dominated room. and i don't know why, but that has been the case. [laughter] i just love myself some rover -- some roland martin. but seriously, during the
clinton years, and this is the crazy thing. during the clinton years clinton was the quote unquote 1st black president. and you remember him coming in their, more african-american reporters there in the seat constantly. i mean,, not moving around, a senior reporter. george w. bush came and everybody left. obama came, all the black journalists came to the white house. so excited. they wanted to see. i was happy to see like -- black reporters there, even if it wasn't mainstream, it was still a presence of black reporters. the problem with the white house, so much -- there is an internal problem and an extra external problem. the external problem is a lot of these networks want to hire white women. now there's a new thing with cdtv, white women with blonde
hair. that's the new trends now. well, it's anyway, there is a resurgence resurgence of it right now. let's say that. i am definitely not networked material. i am too old and another shade of beige. so when you talk internally, the structure internally does not support people to come in, you guys can attest, it does not support people who don't have a seat in the room and have workspace in the room. my company has been here for over 40 years, and i have been blessed. i was sitting in the back of the room, 2nd row from back, lassie -- last seat, and i moved up. the room does not support you in your effort to cover the president. it is not easy in that room and , it is not easy for someone who raises their hand, everyone in
the front row, the million-dollar row, it is not easy. sure she talks with her producers. but for me, my issue is urban and black america. i asked questions about china, china, anything, but primarily urban issues. when they come to me, they know ok. but that room is not necessarily friendly to any reporter. but when you are coming in behind the curve, it's rough. i mean,, how many -- we take a picture in ebony's. >> a lot of you do not know. "ebony" is a black magazine [laughter] >> it was. a ton of people in that picture. you were in that picture. there were a ton of a ton of people in that picture. we don't know where. >> a lot of them were cameramen. >> a lot of them reporters. >> paul wants to get in.
>> let me just say one thing african-americans are not underrepresented in the news media. they are underrepresented in the decision-making part. there are a lot of black reporters, a lot of hispanic reporters. the diversity -- hold on, the diversity, the number is representative of the population. what is underrepresented, again, the people calling the shots. that is where the diversity is lacking. >> that's the that rowland made earlier that i agree with, but i do still think there's a lot of underrepresentation of minorities in general and i think a lot of people would agree with that. but i do think, it is important to note that progress has been made. progress is being made. when i worked in cnn in new york, i don't think their were many others, black women on my floor when i was segment producer. and now there are a few more. progress is being made. the issue is you have to keep having people come up and want
to be journalists, mentors who we will say keep at it and they don't have to be black, but it's helpful if they are. so you have to look behind you. but i think that the bottom line is the forcing of the status -- forces of the status quo, very powerful. you have to constantly, everyone who has an interest has to because delay paying attention to it and fighting for it, and some of us are not in a hiring position, but that does not mean we can't be in an encouraging position. so i think the bottom line is the forces of the status quo are hard to be back, but that's why -- beat back back, but that's why you have to keep going. >> another question needs to be answered. and this is critically important. who remembered the the new york times story from three or four years ago on all of the generals who are contributors on the cable networks? there was not a single minority general on that list. again, i talked about kevin hart
, access to resources, hiring, the exact same thing now, that was under president george w. bush's they were created africom. a black general who was a four star general who was the 1st commander of africom. there was one network show that interviewed him about military options, me. you would think that somebody in the newsroom somewhere in america would say, i wonder who might be an expert on affairs on the continent of africa from a military perspective, and maybe we can talk to them about what is happening, how we tackle boko fromharam.
not one call. not one. he was a commander, over all of africa. you did not have somebody in the newsroom who knew he existed. if you don't have someone in the newsroom who knows he exists, you don't have someone send to:. -- saying to call him. before he retired, and understand. i started every job with the understanding that you're going to get fired anyway. [laughter] i mean, you're going to get laid off. you can look at the newsroom numbers. you can play it safe and get laid off and be mad or you can do you, get laid off, and said i set idea what i was supposed to do i was there. i can tell you. in the 6 years i was there i would often communicate, to john kline. and i specifically said we need hire him as a contributor. because his mess to say the only
-- because it is not enough to say the only by general you can -- black general you can think of today is colon powell/ and so that also goes into where you are. you have access to the pentagon. minority generals, they'll have that access to get inside information. my point is just that, it creates other opportunities. for the next folks coming in. that's what i mean, we get shut out of power positions if it as a trickle-down effect and what it does is further creates more division and keeps us further away from these prime opportunities. because the reality is, when a gilbert becomes editor, when you have an african-american who becomes editor, when they know who they are they are going to , understand and maybe bring more people into the mix as.
not sitting not sitting here worried about you don't have this particular pedigree. you have a skill set. that is why it matters when we are in leadership positions we were not in positions or secondary positions or the 3rd or 4th level. all we are ourare simply staffers. basically, we are the hopeelp. >> let's take one more question from each side, and then i that i would like my friend hazel to make a comment about a special a special group of students we have here. if it's ok with you, keep it short and the responses short to and to the might get an extra point, one and. >> my name is mckenzie marsh, a sophomore broadcaster. at howard university. my question is me and my friend , are starting a campaign about going out into local dc high schools and making black or minority students more aware of being conscious of situations.
i feel like everyone is conscious and aware, but the people in my generation, i feel like there's a break. i grew up in st. louis. i talked to my friends who stated and did not go to college and we talked about things other than the ferguson situation health care in situations like that, and they are not aware. so to change everything happening do you have any tips to help us tell them that you can be the executive's, if you like to play video games you can create a video game, making them aware that they have these opportunities he because we are the generation that have all of these outlets and we just want to help them use it for the ability to be nothing like the help. >> i think there's a challenge sometimes, and i think what you are doing is fantastic but one of the misnomers is that we go talk at kids.
you have to create relationships. i started my media career doing sociopolitical commentary. on a rap video show. there wasn't anybody doing that before. the ability to connect with the audience wasn't about how i can create this list of things to talk at them about. it was how is there a back-and-forth relationship so that there is trust and consistency. i think the 1st thing you have to do is create relationships. as you build relationships you build trust. as you build trust to build credibility. as you build credibility, you can talk about anything. i knew what i was doing was working, not because of ratings i was with dream when dream was dream. it some of you understand that in some of you don't. the nude said -- a dude said i
really want to appreciate you for talking about the nuclear option. unlike some looking around looking for the camera that's about the partly. i can't believe this young dude is rolling up on me talking about the nuclear option. nobody ever talks to us about that kind of stuff. you came to to us honest. and me and my wife started looking it up. at first, i was irritated, as i am at the club. then i'm buy him a drink. a drink. i need you to help me understand how this happened that because i was talking about certain issues the because we had created relationships. create relationships. as you listen to them and they listen to you you begin to have conversation. because they are a whole lot more aware than you think they are. it's really listening to the things they are concerned about. which gives you a bridge to issues they may not know about.
-- talk about issues they may not know about. >> i am scared for 2016. and the reason i'm scared, will -- there won't be anybody black running. follow me here. if you look back at 2008, you saw folks you had never seen in your life. you saw hispanic contributors, you saw african-americans, more women because you had then senator obama and then senator clinton both running. after the 2000 on election, what back to business -- 2008 election, went back to business as usual. it is something amazing when a 14-year-old or 15-year-old says, i've never even thought about politics until i heard you talking about it. here is my fear, who we will be
talking about it in 2016? who will be talking about it in a way for them to understand speaking to the issues that they deal with everyday but talking like you're from d.c., not talking like you're from new york but talking like you actually talk to folks. that is a serious fear that goes to the nation of race in -- notion of race in america. bill bennett, 2008 he actually said this. you can pull the tape. when obama won in south carolina , he said that when reverend jackson one, it was black history but when obama won it is american history. did he just say that on-air? we are own set. -- we are on set. nobody else said a word. no one else was willing to check. bill bennett, former drug czar. you know all the black folks who ran for county commissioner and
sheriff and reverend jackson ran 84 and 88. did you know that richard shelby is now united states senator. i begin to walk through the lines. he tried to come back and restate again. i said, wait a minute. he does not run al gore's campaign in 2000 without in reverend jackson. we did not know paul also must jackson runs because he was the state director. -- paul wellstone unless jackson runs because he was the state director. how dare you diminish his runs? the point is, there was nobody was at the table willing to challenge them on it. imagine if that comment had gone unchecked? we talk about race. a presidential campaign. i'm looking at who we will be on those networks and what they're saying because the theory is,
you will go back to business as usual and having the same voices speaking about the electorate and not doing as gilbert said looking at the numbers. we are more black and more hispanics so why is the television looking like it's 1950. >> let me interject a quick point. we talked about the black reporters and the increase in the latino reporters when president obama was elected, did we do our job? one of the 1st questions i asked the civil rights leader, what do we do now that we have a black president? he said, said, we must speak truth to power no matter what color power is. and so, roland you were speaking to the point. have black and latino and other reporters tell this president to the same level of accountability on race that we have others? speak into the mic.
just as a reporter just individually. what do you think? >> globally. what i think about the press briefing room, people room people are asking the hard questions. i think it's difficult to no generally speaking, holding the proper people's feet to the fire. but when you move away from the president and speak to the people you get speak to on a much more regular basis . >> not enough people are doing that. certainly there are some. april has talked about how she's lonely in theirre bringing up this issue. over the radio network. that's important. >> let's be honest about the fact that this white house had not given the same amount of access. this white house is not given the same amount of access that
previous white house said. and so what i'm saying by that is -- >> black press overall press. >> talking about black press. and i got an interview with the pres. so i'm not saying it has not happened. if you think about the fact that over the course of three years there have been, been, what, three interviews with the president's? -- like for us -- president has done with the black press? >> i don't think so. first of all, we all, we don't have that much. >> black media, black people robin robertson. >> i am talking about black press on tv. >> on tv. >> right. and that's not an indictment. to answer your question, i think that there have been fewer opportunities to have direct one on ones with the president to give enough journalists the chance to ask certain questions.
folks like april are doing an amazing job in the positions they are, but their are a lot of people where she is. >> and that's the point, what i am saying. i am encouraging these people to come. it is easy to get in. just call the press office. when it comes down to katrina, ferguson, all these issues that affect black america, america, it needs to be more reporters asking to generate. sometimes i ask questions and sometimes the mainstream media in the room will pick it up. but it takes follow-up questions to really make a difference. and sometimes if it's just me it won't be a follow-up. we need that continual pressure to ask the question if the story is going to be above the fold, make the a block of the evening news, the network evening news or what have you. and also, if you're talking about media making a a difference, it has to be continued pressure from the community, en mass
continuously for us to really say, ok, this is something. that something. that gives the pressure and attention from the media. >> thank you. we have three people standing. will you each ask a brief question and then the panelists can respond to all three? >> four. >> ok. four good questions. please make a brief. >> hi. i am from the church of scientology national affairs office and "freedom" magazine. i was hoping that someone could maybe speak to where we go from here. could there be someone in the media that could take the lead as to where we take this conversation and who that could be and how that could kind of go through. >> thank you very much. let's get the the other three questions. >> first and foremost, i work at eliot middle school, broadcast media teacher and computer applications teacher. we lost the 1st radio on tv program run solely by middle school kids. they are there.
they are right there. [applause] we need -- yeah. as we begin to wrap up. because i have parents texting me now. >> and hazel, i don't want to read over her shoulder's. she has a nice thank you. >> energy need to make the statement to the panel and we need your help. run a kids campaign to interview the president. support from congressman john lewis. congresswoman eleanor holmes chancellor, one on the way from senator al franken conducted a live interview. we have conducted a broadcast backstage at the kennedy center. we're done our homework.
we have interviewed so many prominent people, we have been featured on channel seven, we have been featured on queen latifah, featured in the "washington post." as i stand here. >> absolutely. [applause] >> pass it along. >> we already have a response. i'm sure they we will follow through. >> we got it. we got you. >> my name is angela johnson and this is concise. he did briefly touch on it. there's a crisis on sunday. the media covers it. i am guaranteed that on monday i have to go to work and explain. they are not my leaders. i did not vote for them and they did not speak for me. i'm wondering as far as pushback for getting decision-makers in the media, how can we make them break through the prominent and
experience, well educated expert to address the issues. >> the last question to be asked. and then the panel will respond. >> good afternoon. i am here representing black women for positive change. i am a teacher, community leader. also, i want to piggyback. we do have to seek our leaders. mental health mental health leaders. what i want to know, back in the summer i was running from bullets. but then my community,, my mother was running from bullets on my great-nephew two years old hiding. also, i want to piggyback. that sign, black lives matter. they do matter. but why is it that we as a community have to continue to run from bullets in our
community and nothing is done about it? it just does not make any sense. so when you talk about black lives matter, tell me how you're going to tell our youth -- i am a teacher. how do we get to these youth to let them know why do why do you want your mother to run from a bullet? my mother's house has been shot. bullets fly in the community all the time and nothing has been done about it. we have got to do better. >> got you. >> we have got to. and it is not just about police, it is about the diversity, the jobs, everything. we have got to do better. >> got you. >> can i ask each of the panelists i ask each of the panelists if they want to give a concluding remarks and response to the last few questions? we give everybody a chance for a final response. and in doing so i just i just want to thank you for your participation tonight.
and to the audience for their participation tonight. roland, you start and we we will move this way. please, be brief. >> i will deal with the question. where do we go from here. where we go from here is these media executives calling them to the table for literally to literally say, you are a leader, what exactly is your plan. question. and that can be done with the national association of black journalists, the national association of asian-american journalists. from a network standpoint. again, no one is perfect but when i look at what abc is doing, the kind of on-air hires that they have made we love to -- it literally requires challenging them. and this is what you should do as a community. the media love to talk about transparency, tell city
officials and public people to reveal their numbers. these media institutions have a public trust. from a community standpoint, you should you should tell them, reveal your numbers, reveal your hiring numbers but don't stop there. reveal your supply and diversity numbers, who you do business with. so broad and it -- broughtreveal your supply and diversity in -- broaden it beyond just who is writing stories. who is writing stories, the executives, making decisions making decisions and what they are doing on the business side. again, you can hire us to be reporters or executives. if you are not spending money than all you are doing is continuing the cycle of income inequality as a community.
if they tell you those of private numbers we don't reveal it i i guess you don't really believe in transparency. >> thank you. >> where do we go from here? for us it is a local story. we ask questions, probe, but pressure from the editorial page, as we have been doing for months for change. and that is where we go from here. i think what i have heard tonight -- and we have to ramp it up -- here from the people we have not heard from for. we aren't talking to the young people in the community. -- or talking to the young people in the community. we need to do more, find out what they are doing because they are not the leaders we have been dealing with. that is a challenge. it's for you in those positions step up and talk and tell us what to think and write in blog and send letters and do opinion pieces for us because that's the only way we we will service the communities outside your own.
to hear what you are trying to say. >> i agree with that. we have to recover the events that are. it's not necessarily going to be to advocate but to make sure that point of view gets hurt. the action has to be happening for us to cover it, sort of like a conversation. we talk about where we go from here it goes to my earlier we point, have to keep asking the question and find out if there is something afoot. something does have to be happening. i think in terms of making sure their are more voices they have to go because the personal answer the phone and the
available and speak in a way that -- good soundbites. and so we as individuals we can help by continuing to look for other voices and purses of the voices. it's a small kind of situation. we need to begin bolstering with financial dollars and some of the outlooks, whether they are bloggers and who have proven themselves credible.if we can both of them financially. they can serve as a best practice. who have the ability to blog but do not see quality bloggers. i think the other piece around seeing more voices is, again begin to tap some communication
firms that are ready have the ability to do this work, have people they represent, to do a better job of creating stables of voices and voices in key areas. and sometimes if there are firms doing work around national security and armed services, then you can have them building stables of voices in those areas. same thing around education and electoral politics. the bookers will book ever is calling them the most or whoever is the most entertaining. it doesn't mean good, it just means, can you get on and make other people mad? or can you come on and talk from a vantage point that other people can't talk from? we have to understand because you are smart, that doesn't mean you're good for tv. we have to understand the difference between the people that are good for radio and the people good for print and people
good for television. oftentimes, we get really, really smart people that are horrible to watch, and a makes it difficult to get the next person because you have a track record against somebody who was bad for tv. we have to understand the science. we really do need to develop these young people. how do we begin to identify person because you have a track storytellers? i think roland does a decent job. i try to do a decent -- i think most people on this panel do that. it if we can find ways to be telling scouts and identifying young people by getting them internships and opportunities, giving them the ability to write pieces and do some research and a finding ways to support the things there are ready doing storytellers? demanding to raise the bar of what they're doing, then i think we can create a feeder pool, if you will, of not just local papers and news outlets, but a whole new community of new media what they're doing, then i think to validate them by doing good work.
>> over the last 18 years, i have found race does matter. race matters at the white house level, the presidential level, at the highest level in this land and globally. but the problem is, does it make the news? level, the presidential level, no, that always. how do we make that change happen? you have to make the change. you have to get up and push for it. when i say that, in my research for my book that is outside right now -- shameless plug -- but i'm telling you -- >> [inaudible] >> i learned it from you roland. anyway, seriously, what i found in this book, the most successful movements that came torace were those done with pressure, consistency, and massive numbers of people.
why don't things change? and this is just me observing from the highest level in the land. when people come to the white house, they come because of a large group behind them pushing the issue. when you complain about the bullets, know you have the nra on the other side saying, no no, we're not when a change things. how do you effectuate change? that is what we report on. i see the nra and i see you. where does the movement come? if you want more blacks in media, if you want more stories in media, it comes to you. you have to make the change. thank you. >> my wife is an educator. media, if you want more stories one of the people she is educated during her career has been teachers. one of the things she does is equity training. she tries to make teachers who are not from the minority community aware of their white privilege, so they can teach
children who are not like them. i think would probably be a good idea if reporters had equity training. [applause] to become aware of people who are not like them. listen, we can't be what we are not. we are all born a certain way and have certain experiences but we can become aware of the things we are not. and that is what we might be able to bring about through some kind of concerted effort at training ourselves. >> ok, finally, thank you for having me. i think the thing that we have done at "the american" for nearly 90 years is, not only do we report the stories and
encourage through our reporting, people to engage, but to inspire people. i think one of the things that drew me into the paper and the rich legacy of it, i saw people who looked like me doing something that i wanted to do. i think that is just -- i mean it is of extreme importance that we show our people, the people that look like us and make it attainable, it makes it real, it makes it an authentic dream for us to have. like, i never thought -- had there not been a st. louis american, had there not been any other outlets, i 100% certain of would not be sitting here because i would not -- not only would i not have had the platform or opportunity, i would not have thought it to be real. that is one of the things. also, to keep telling the whole story. most of the people who saw the ferguson unrest outside of
ferguson, all they saw was the violence, the looting, and there was so much -- there were only six days of violence. the people were protesting -- i was like, no, i'm missing a protest. they are still at it. the vast majority of the protests have been peaceful. the fact we were out the telling of the peaceful protest, i did a say and encourage the people who may have thought to be violent to go ahead and be useful because they knew that a place for their story to be told as well. [applause] >> at the beginning of the evening, just ladies and gentlemen, at the beginning of the evening, i said this would be a historic event. thanks to all of you, it truly has been. i gave the opening remarks and a like to call on hazel trice to get the concluding remarks. >> at the beginning of the >> hasn't it been wonderful? let's get the panelists, my peers, a great thank you. i would like to issue a
challenge to them as he and people would say, turn it up. get it turned up in your newsrooms. in my saying it ok? turnt up? get it turnt up in your newsrooms. everything we talked about, turn it up. so we can make an impact in this country. i know it sounds trite, but afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. that is what we're here for. now, if you adjust indulge me another moment, we would be remiss if we would not acknowledge a few people in our audience. mr. clarence page from the chicago tribune. awesome. ms. joyce jones from b.e.t. there are so many in here. ray baker is somewhere in the audience. mr. clarence page from the chicago tribune. ms. joyce jones
from bt. so many of them in here. ray baker is somewhere in the audience. i would be remiss if i did not acknowledge my press club. tristan francis, kenny. and so on behalf of the capitol press club we want to thank you. finally, we want to live to the young people in the back from the middle school wrestling against -- monday to interview the president. we will help them to get that question. thank you. had so if please, please be sure. he will sign it. it's a sign up to a member of the capital press club or the national press club's. we are out there, too. thank you so much for coming. leave your card if you want to be invited to future events.
>> next, a hearing for -- farewell ceremony for secretary hagel. and then the future of the highway trust fund. on the next washington journal philip klein discusses the congressional republican approach to the affordable care act. and possible alternatives. afl-cio president talks about the recent wage summit. the minimum wage debate and the state of labor unions. possible alternatives. and ambassador james smith will examine relations. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal live at to :00 a.m. eastern